Media Buying 101 27 Comments
Media Buying 101

In this post I discuss buying traffic from websites by placing banner ads on them, otherwise known as Media Buying. There are two services which I’ve been using which I find very helpful and I’ll be discussing this also.

Why Media Buying?

The reason I’m getting into media buying is because I can reach targeted traffic and in a lot of cases through real time bidding, and I don’t have the headaches that often arise with Google.

Real time bidding (RTB) is where you bid for an advertising spot on a website, in a similar way that Google Adwords auctions work. What this means is you’re not locked into advertising for a full month on a website, and instead can turn off and on your campaign at will. This is great as it give you much more control.

With media buying you can get a much larger reach of traffic than the likes of Google Adwords can offer, and in many cases the competition is not as fierce as most folks don’t like the idea of media buying as it is slightly harder than Adwords.


The first step is to find out what competitors in your niches are doing and reverse engineer what’s working for them. A great tool to do this is Adbeat. Its not cheap, but it is very powerful. Adbeat allows you to search in various ways such as by keyword so you can see what other people are doing with their banner ads, or you can search by URL also.

You can uncover how long a competitor has been running banner ads on a site, and therefore gauge if what they’re doing has been working for them or not. Below is a screen shot from a search I just did on ‘weight loss’

I know its quite hard to see on that image, but essentially Adbeat tracks how long they have seen a banner from the same advertiser on a website. The longer the banner has consistently been seen the better the campaign isĀ  most likely doing for that advertiser.

What this means is we can gather a lot of great info on the types of banners that seem to work and the sites and replicate this.

Site Scout

Site Scout is another tool, but this is a RTB (real time bidding platform) that allows you to bid for ad space on website you want to place your banners on. RTB means you have a lot of control over your advertising, so you can turn it off and on and will. The way RTB works is similar to Google, but less complicated, and essentially the tops bidder for an ad spot wins.

Below is a screen shot from SiteScout, where I have search for ‘weightloss’ sites that I could potentially run my banners on.

These two tools are very useful for getting into Media Buying. Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting on Solo Ads and creating banners also, so stay tuned for more tips!



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22 Comments to Media Buying 101

  1. November 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing these two traffic generating techniques Matt. I will certainly look into both.

  2. Abu's Gravatar Abu
    November 14, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this great post…We need more tips on this media buy stuff…

  3. November 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Good tips and points Matt. I have been resorting to paid methods more and more as we roll into the holiday season. It had been so long since I’ve used paid, that I had forgot how easy it is to target my niches with pin point accuracy.

    It has also been a lot quicker ROI than SEO methods as well.

  4. November 14, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    Are you running these ads to promote your amazon products? have you done facebook adverts for amazon as well and if you have which worked better


    Matt Carter Reply:

    Yes indeed

  5. November 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    G’day Matt, thanks for another enlightening post. Like many, I’m scratching my head and struggling to recover from the damage caused to rankings following Google’s latest slap.

    Real time bidding is a totally new concept to me. And although I’m familiar with the term “banner ads” and “solo ads” I don’t really know anything practical about them.

    I look forward to learning more.


  6. paul's Gravatar paul
    November 14, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    hey Matt, how does this go for Amazon Private label products? cheers

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Paul

    Yes it does

  7. November 14, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Hey Matt,
    It would be great if you had the time to put together a
    paid traffic course of some sorts.

    Your info is always appreciated.


  8. Joe's Gravatar Joe
    November 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink


    Have you tried media buys for your Amazon products and if so with any results?

    Matt Carter Reply:

    I am working on it right now

  9. Trevor Ambrose's Gravatar Trevor Ambrose
    November 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink


    I’m definitely going to try this buying ads. I think this is a great way not to be under the google iron fist. Thanks

  10. Charles's Gravatar Charles
    November 14, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips Matt. I’m looking forward to learning more about media buying. This was perfect timing for me.

  11. November 14, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink


    Do you know about OpenX? Seems that they provide sophisticated RTB engine also. Can you discuss about OPen X?

    Matt Carter Reply:

    I haven’t tried Open X sorry

  12. deb's Gravatar deb
    November 14, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    You are right in saying adbeat is not cheap but it is very effective .Ive been using it for a few months .i will now give site scout a go based on your recommendation

  13. Louise's Gravatar Louise
    November 14, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting. Does one bid per click or per display? Can one put a limit on one’s daily spend?

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Louise

    Its by display

  14. November 15, 2013 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks Matt

    Yes i heard of adbeat and site scout never use them yet.
    As usual you give some nice tips.

    Thank you

  15. November 15, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    Thanks Matt, I’m always looking for unique methods for driving quality traffic, and you are always spot on. I’ll surely be researching media buying, and definitely putting this on my to do list.

  16. Steve's Gravatar Steve
    November 15, 2013 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Great article. CPM can be a killer value and it has the passive benefit of building brand impressions even if it doesn’t immediately convert.

    Do you have any suggestions on banner ad design resources? To me this has always been the missing link. I don’t think I ever get good enough banner ads.

  17. Brian De Den's Gravatar Brian De Den
    November 15, 2013 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Thanks Matt, great stuff.. Been looking for alternatives to Facebook personally, although Facebook still works for me.

    I do need other avenues however and I appreciate the tips.

  18. Lori Gunn's Gravatar Lori Gunn
    November 15, 2013 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Always great info, Matt! The smart businessperson either learns this stuff quickly or finds a pro to do it for the success of the business. Keep up the good work sharing how to succeed by really trying.

  19. November 15, 2013 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    I really appreciate those tips you’ve been giving us matt. You really help us well in terms of promoting our own products online… keep up the good work.

  20. November 15, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Hey Matt, Thanks for the tips just stared looking into the very subject and solo ads too, waiting for more of your tips and info mate..

    all the best simon….

  21. November 17, 2013 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Excellent tips Matt. The “Google game” is getting harder and harder. I’d love if you create a course about MB.

    Thanks a lot!!

  22. Joe's Gravatar Joe
    November 18, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Matt, I like many individuals on here seem to find this method of getting traffic interesting. With all the problems in having to rely on Google, I for one am moving away from having to rely on a fickle, main traffic source.

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